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Rio Grande City Bandits - [GamePlanHockey] career story + tutorial

Started By Royalty, Mar 15, 2015 11:28 AM

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#1

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Hi all,
 
I'd like to introduce GamePlanHockey, a browser hockey manager game.
 
In this topic i will be telling you my career story in the game from start to end (well hopefully there is no end). Along the way, i will discuss all the aspects of the game in depth, which will hopefully help you all to decide if it's a game for you or not  ;)
 
If you like to know more about this game, i advice you to read this amazing and inspiring blog post of the creator of the game, Anders Granberg. It gives a good insight of what to expect from the game in general.
 
http://www.gameplanh...ey-manager-game
 
offcourse you could also directly browse to the main site:
http://www.gameplanhockey.com
 
Now, let's start a career!
 
 
1) The beginning
 
Like other browser games you will need to fill in a email-address, username and password to start playing gameplanhockey, but there is also one important decision you will need to make as a manager right from the beginning. You will need to decide which game world you want to participate in
 
 
1a) decide on a game world
 
In gameplanhockey, right now, there are 8 game worlds, as you can see in the following screenie:
 
Attached File  choose_game_world.png   22.71KB   0 downloads
 

All game worlds consists of 5 leagues and 80 teams. They differ in the pace of updates. There are 4 different pace levels.

 

Slow: 1 match per day

Normal: 2 matches per day

Fast: 4 matches per day

Lightning: 8 matches per day

 

P.S. Currently there is one game world type, which is the European style, but Anders did mentioned a second type in his interview with Chris from 3 Feb 2015:

 

Anders:
Yes, I’ve always had plans for creating two sets of game worlds with different league styles. The current style can best be described as European influenced with team promotions and relegations. But I want to create another type of game world with more North American influenced leagues with affiliation teams, trades, drafts and so on.

 

So, all NHL fans have to wait a bit for the North American game world, but the good news is that it will be coming.

 

Since i could not decide on whether to play an European or North America style yet, my only decision to make was "how many games do i want to play per day". I decided to go for game world "Echo", which is a slow paced game world, meaning 1 match per day.

 

P.S. don't worry about choosing the wrong game world. After joining a game world you can always resign from your team and start a new career with an other team in a different game world.

 

 

1b) found a team, customize it or not?

 

After making a decision on the game world, complete the signup process and the system will start finding a team for you. You will be redirected to the following screen:
 
Attached File  team_found.png   75.11KB   0 downloads
 
You will be assigned to a random team. It can be a team with already a history or not (it depends whether the game world is brand new or not). Here you can either take over the team and/or customize all the details of the team. You can customize the team name, city, logo and colours:

 

Attached File  customize_team.png   63.92KB   0 downloads

 
I have decided to change nothing of the team. I am happy to start my career as GM of the Rio Grande City Bandits, who currently sit 1st in the BHL (Bronze Hockey League).

 

P.S. as a new rookie manager you will always start in one of the 3 lower leagues, there are 5 leagues, all have different promotion/relegation rules, which i will be discussing later:

  1. Golden Hockey League
  2. Silver Hockey League
  3. Bronze Hockey League
  4. Iron Hockey League
  5. Lower Iron Hockey League 

 

1c) manager welcome screen

 

After you have customized a team and taken it over you will redirected to the manager welcome screen.

 

This is the page that you will see every time you log on to gameplanhockey.

Attached File  welcome_manager.png   101.92KB   6 downloads

 

When you see this screen the first time, you will notice a game hint in the form of a black box (see above). On every page in gameplanhockey you will see these hints popup. I advice you to read them one by one as it really helps you understand the game. You can disable the hints in the settings area, which you can access by clicking on action -> settings, as seen in the following screenshot, where i also clicked away the hint to see what's behind it   :)

 

Attached File  welcome_screen_hints_hidden.png   101.69KB   3 downloads

 

Turns out to be a message box. Cool, here the system will keep you posted about all the news surrounding your team (i.e. match results, injuries, transfers, player awards, etc)

 

Well that's the start of my career and the end of this first post. I have signed up, joined a game world and signed for a team. Stay tuned for more...



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#2

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This is awesome



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#3

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Thx, found a terrible mistake in the opening post btw, i said that game world "Echo" was a normal paced league. It is actually a slow paced league, so 1 match per day instead of 2. Fixed it.

 

Next post coming up later today.



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#4

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First day at the club. 
 
I haven't made any team decisions yet, but have shaken a lot of hands with people from the board, staff and sponsors   ;) ... Furthermore, i have taken some time to discover the world of gameplanhockey. How is the competition structure setup and what are we actually fighting for? Before getting into that, let's have a quick look at my message inbox of today.
 

Attached File  message_inbox.png   73KB   2 downloads

 

As you can see i have 2 new messages. The first one is a nice welcome message. The second one is a game result. Apparently we won and have a nice winning streak, hooray  :) .. that is a great start!

 

Some messages guide you directly to the right context, for example a game result points you directly to the game log as seen below.

 

Attached File  read_message.png   28.96KB   2 downloads

 
 
Now let's dive into gameworld "Echo".
 
2) Explore the game world
 
Click in the main menu on "World" to view the game world.
 
Attached File  world.png   137.39KB   2 downloads
 
On the screenshot you see an overview of the game world "Echo" showing the 5 leagues i mentioned before (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Iron, Lower Iron). The league shown in blue is the league that your team is currently playing in.
 
"Echo" is an European style game world. That means there are promotion and relegation rules. Your goal as the GM of a team is to reach the Golden Hockey League, qualify for the playoffs and eventually win those playoffs. The winner of the last season Golden Playoffs will be prominently visible on this page (logo and teamname will be visible at the top). To know more about the promotion/relegation rules, enable the hints, and the system will present them to you. In short, they are as follow:
 
  1. Golden League: first 8 qualify for playoffs, bottom 2 relegate to Silver, nr 13+14 will play playoffs to not relegate.
  2. Silver League: first 2 promote to Gold, 3rd to 6th play playoffs for promotion, bottom 2 relegate and nr 13+14 will play playoffs to not relegate.
  3. Bronze League: first 2 promote to Silver, 3rd to 6th play playoffs for promotion, bottom 2 relegate and nr 13+14 will play playoffs to not relegate.
  4. Iron League: first 2 promote to Bronze, 3rd to 6th play playoffs for promotion, bottom 2 relegate and nr 11 till 14 will play playoffs to not relegate.
  5. Lower Iron League:  first 2 promote to Iron, 3rd to 10th play playoffs for promotion, there is no relegation 
 
So now i know my goal --> become the best team in the Golden Hockey League! But my first goal is to promote to the Silver League. I need to finish in the top 2 to secure direct promotion or finish between 3rd and 6th to have a chance to promote through the playoffs. I'm up for the challenge! Follow this topic regularly to see if i succeed  :)
 
The world view also informs you about the highest placed teams in the standings, players with the most points and the most experienced human managers in all the leagues. Note that there are currently no human controlled teams in the Gold and Silver league, that's because "Echo" is currently in Season 1 and new rookie managers can only start their career with a team in the Bronze League or lower.
 
Furthermore, on this page you can see all the teams in the world ranked on reputation, the top 100 players ranked on reputation and all the human managers ranked on reputation aswell. Click on the respective tabs to view or look at the next 3 screenshots.
 

Attached File  world_teams.png   131.04KB   3 downloads

Attached File  world_players.png   137.04KB   1 downloads

Attached File  world_managers.png   144.46KB   1 downloads

 
Wow, that are a lot of different reputations. Looks like reputation is an important aspect in gameplanhockey. I have read in one of the blogs from Anders that it will unfluence a lot of things, like contract negotiations, salary demands, player's willingness to join teams, etc. Sounds interesting. I will be discussing this reputation system in a separate post as i am learning more details about it along the way.
 
Well that's it for today. I have shared my first messages that i received as GM, explored the game world and presented you the competition structure in game world "Echo". Tomorrow i will meet up with the team and get a first impression of the players at the club. Will they be good or will i be disappointed?, we'll see...


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#5

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Hi all, today i'm going to have a look at the current roster of my club.

3) Glance at the roster

Click on 'Team' and on the tab 'Roster'.

Here are the players currently at Rio Grande City Bandits. (I took 2 screenshots, since i couldn't get them all on 1)

Attached File  roster_part1.png   191.43KB   4 downloads

Attached File  roster_part2.png   166.3KB   4 downloads

The first thing that becomes immediately clear is the fact that there are 4 different positions in gameplanhockey, namely Centers, Forwards, Defenders and Goalies. Forwards are simply Wingers, maybe they use the term Forwards in Europe, i don't know.

On the Roster View you can switch to 4 different views: Info, Profile, Contract and Ratings. The one you are now looking at and which i will be focusing on today is the Info view. In short the 4 views can be described as follow:


  • Info: Shows basic information about the players.
  • Profile: Shows players characteristics (leadership, greediness, potential, ambition, etc)
  • Contract: Shows players contract details.
  • Ratings: Shows players ratings in various skills. (skating, scoring, defense, puckhandling, etc)

The most important information from the info view is the overall rating. This number presents the overall strength of the player, it generally gives a good indication, but don't solely look at this number, because it does say nothing about the individual skill ratings and player characteristics, which also play an important role on performances. I will be looking at them later.

Looking at my roster now, the disbalance strikes me. Previous manager obviously made a mess. There are a massive 8 centers under contract and only 9 forwards (only 2 of them being Righthanded). We have 8 defenders, which is fine, but also only 2 of them are right handed. In a perfect situation i would like to have:

"5 centers, 10 forwards, 8 defenders and 3 goalies. Hands equally divided."

So, it looks like i will need to do some business on the transfermarket soon :cool:

Looking more closely, i have been very blessed with the goalies. Matias Gorman has the best overall rating (76) and the backup goalie Nicola Saint-Arnault isn't far behind (75). Generally the team looks old, but that also means very experienced. Two factors that probably helped the team climbing to the top of the table.

Behind some players you will notice some icons, the C stands for Captain, the A for Assistant Captain, the SCR stands for Scratched. The star mean star-player. Note that the star players are not always the best players rating-wise, but i believe performance is also factored in.

Next to overall rating, two other important attributes from the info view are Confidence' and 'Health'.

Health means the condition of the player. It decreases if the player plays too much minutes or trains too much. Players with low health will be more injury-prone and perform worse.

Confidence is a bit more tricky. It also influence player performance like health. It can be best explained by quoting the creator Anders:


The confidence value consists of many things. For example the confidence value will increase/decrease when player wins/loses faceoffs, wins/loses fightings, prevents/creates scoring chances, giveaways/takeaways, responsible for turnovers, delivers/receives hits, is given/not given expected ice time and how well he executed his role in the team. A player will also evaluate his game performance in which role he has. A sniper who scored will increase value, a playmaker with low ice time will decrease, a stay at home defender with positive +/- will increase and so on...

 

P.S. The colors (Green, Blue, Orange and Red) that are used as background are there to give you a quick indication. I have noticed that there are heavily used at other parts of the site. You already did see some of them yesterday ;-) .. Green and Blue are good signals, with Green being the best. You should try to avoid Orange and Red, with Red being the worse.

That's it for today. I glanced at the roster and discussed some weekness and strength of the team. In the next days i won't have much time to post, but i will try to look at the other 3 views (profile, contract and ratings). Later!



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#6

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Hi all, team is still going great. They already won 3 games under my belt. Still haven't made any big decision yet, but do i need to? Only thing i am changing at the moment is swapping the goalies if some of them isn't fully healthy.  :) 
 
But as promised, let's talk about more about the roster views. Specifically let's dive into the profile view.
 
Attached File  roster_profile1.png   116.74KB   4 downloadsAttached File  roster_profile2.png   73.54KB   2 downloads
 
Every player has a preferred Role and some Characteristics. The latter is divided into 6 categories. Let's first talk about those categories. Here is what the hints tell about them (together with all the possible values)
 
Potential
"This will give you a hint how much talent the player has and how likely he is to develop his skills and become a future star."
 
[Natural Talent, Gifted, Capable, Untalented, Slow-witted]
 
Greed
"What is more important; Money or Team spirit? Some players go for the highest bidder while others prefer great teammates and long-term relationships."
 
[Loyalist, Team Player, Professional, Individualist, Mercenary]
 
Dirtyness/Temperament
"How does the player behave on ice? This will offcourse influence the number of penalties but also how well he adopts to your tactics."
 
[Gentle, Respectful, Tough, Agitator]
 
Leadership
"Some people are born leaders while others depend on others to show the way. This is a good place to start looking when choosing your captains."
 
[True Leader, Role Model, Respected, Modest, Anonymous]
 
Determination/Big Games
"Who will rise to the occasion and show fighting spirit when you need it most? It's no coincidence that some players score the game winner every other game."
 
[Heroic, Determined, Stable, Anxious, Nervous]
 
Ambition
"Believe it or not, some hockey players have a life outside the rink. This ambition value will tell you how much he is willing to sacrifice for his hockey career."
 
[Ambitious, Purposeful, Enthusiastic, Half-Hearted, Lazy]
 
 
The hints are pretty clear. Potential and Ambition looks the most important to me, aswell as Leadership for captains, but you will also need some players that rise to the occasion (Determination). Loyal players are important to keep the team together and make some salary room. Finally you should avoid many players that loses their temperament and don't stick to the game plan (Dirtyness).
 
Note that the characteristics values are fixed. They don't change during a player career.
 
 
Roles
 
Every player has a preferred role, but it's important to note that contrary to characteristics they are not fixed. They may change during development of the player and when the team is promoting/demoting to an other league. For instance, a Stay-At-Home defenseman in Bronze, could very much prefer a Two-Way  role in the Iron League, cause he is surrounded with worse players. A forward that is developing quickly can potentially turn from a Grinder to a Sniper or Playmaker.
 
Here are all the roles in the game:
 
Sniper, Playmaker, Powerforward, Two-way, Grinder, Enforcer, Stay-At-Home (defense only), Offensive (defense only) and Goalie.
 
There are no different goalie types as of today, but they could be added in the future.
 
Roles are important. If you play a player outside his preferred role, he will perform worse and lose confidence. For instance, a playmaker will not like a 4th line role.
 
 
Now, can i already make some early conclusions by looking solely at the player characteristics and general info? Yep, i now know:
 
  1. Ezekiel Sheehan is one of the 8 centers in the team, he has the lowest overall rating 59, is only 18 years old, but has a slow-witted potential, so i doubt he will become a great player. He also is nervous during big games and could see some minutes on the penalty-box. This player will be resigned from the club first, no doubts.
  2. Juan David Martin is the 5th overall player on forwards rating wise (70), but if you take his characteristics into account, he looks way better. He is a true leader and team player. Furthermore he is capable, respectful, stable and enthusiastic. Definately a player the team counts on.
  3. Defender Ludovyck Beggs is also a very interesting player. 23 years old, but a natural talent and purposeful. Combine that with being a loyalist, role model, respectful and stable and we are looking at a real talent. It will be interesting to see how much he grows this season (65)
  4. Center Marlon Heintz (72) is a sniper and has heroic determination. He could potentially score many game winners. I will keep an eye on him for sure.  
 
Okay that is it for today. I showed you the profile view and shared some early opinions about some players. Next part, i will be discussing the player skills.


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Hi, today i want to discuss the player ratings in gameplanhockey.
 
Here is the ratings view of my roster.
 

Attached File  roster_ratings1.png   80.79KB   3 downloadsAttached File  roster_ratings2.png   52.63KB   3 downloads

 

A rating is numbered from 1 to 99 and as you can see from the screenshot they are highlighted with colors that we already know. Green is best, Blue is good, Orange is mediocre and Red is bad.
 
There are 9 different player ratings for skaters and 7 for goalies:
 
Player ratings (skaters)

 

1. Skating

"Speed and acceleration but also the agility of the player."
2. Passing
"The players ability to find a teammate and deliver a pass without the puck being intercepted by the opponent."
3. Puck Handling
"This rating will tell how good the player is to keep control of the puck, deke, deflect shots and protect the puck."
4. Shooting
"A combination of shooting power and accuracy. It´s not the only rating used to score goals but it sure is one of the most important."
5. Defence
"The players ability to read the opponent, backcheck and being in the right place when the opponent is trying to score."
6. Physical
"The players ability to use the most of his body, deliver hits, getting the upperhand in the crease and avoiding to be run over by the opponent."
7. Spirit
"The players fighting spirit and determination. The rating tells you how hard the player backchecks, follows through and blocks shots."
8. Endurance
"Players with high value of endurance can take more ice-time without being fatigued and they also recovers faster."
9. Faceoffs
"A rating most used by centers but is important to every player stepping up to the face-off spot."
 
Player ratings (goalies)
1. Reflexes
"The goalie reflexes and the ability to react to hard and accurate shots"
2. Positioning
"The ability to stand in the right place before the shot or scoring opportunity is created"
3. Puck Control
"The ability to control the puck at heavy traffic or prevent dangerous rebounds on hard shots."
4. Athletic
"An agile goalie moves quickly from side to side and can make those impossible saves even if lying flat on the ice."
5. Puck Handling
"How well the goalie can take part of game play, set up the first pass or poke check the puck away from the opponent."
6. Spirit
"The goalies fighting spirit, determination and ability to not be disturbed by heavy traffic in front of the net."
7. Endurance
"Goalies with high value of endurance can play more games in a row without being fatigued and they also recovers faster." 
 
 
Looking at my roster i see that:
 
- I have 4 centers with around 83-85 in faceoffs skill. Not bad, but no real specialist.
- My skaters seem to excel in spirit, apart from Ezekiel Sheehan who already was nominated for release.
- Best skater is winger Juan David Martin (89), but he combines it with low endurance (59).
- Best passer is defender Anton Akulov (86), who also has the best rating in defense (89). On the downside, he has the lowest Puck Handling (40), but that rating seem only to be important for offensive defenders, so a very good defender.
- Center Marlon Heintz is the best puck handler and shooter (both 77). It's unfortunate that he has only 57 endurance. He also doesn't belong to the group of best faceoff-takers.
- Most physical player is defender Youri Bouffard (94)
- Winger Chance Shumaker has the best spirit (99). To the max! He also has the most endurance (93) and has great skating (85). Combine that with a potential of Natural Talent and we are perhaps looking at the best player in the team.
- Looks like Matias Gorman is going to be the starter goalie, thanks to his 81 endurance. Nicola Saint Arnault will serve as backup.
- Team is lacking a real offensive defender. Ioan Floyd is listed as an OFD, but his shooting isn't really impressive (67). This is definately an area i will try to strengthen.
 
That's it for today. A quick glance at the player ratings. Next up will be contracts.  


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#8

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Howdy, time to discuss the fourth and final roster view, contracts! Related to this i will talk a bit on roster management and finances.

 

 

Contract view

Attached File  roster_contract1.png   81.64KB   1 downloadsAttached File  roster_contract2.png   54.94KB   1 downloads

 

Contracts in an European style game world are pretty easy to understand. A contract consist of a length, years remaining and salary. Furthermore a player can have one or two clausules in their contracts, represented by the letters R and S.

 

  • R = Release on relegation, player will become FA when team demotes to a lower league
  • S = Salary increase on promotion, player will earn more when team is promoting to a higher league.

 

P.S. at the moment i don't know how much a player will earn more after promotion, i will follow up on this when i know the answer.

 

Also, a very important detail presented on the contract view is the contract happiness of a player. Sometimes players want a bigger contract and sometimes they want to move to a bigger club. In both cases the player will become unhappy with his contract. In the latter case you can't do anything about it.

 

Currently, the highest paid players in my team:

 

  1. GK Matias Gorman ($450.000)
  2. W Chance Shumaker ($391.000)
  3. W Alf Haugland ($243.000)

I'm a bit surprised about Haugland's contract. He is a grinder and i didn't mentioned him before in any post. He has natural talent and is purposeful, but the other 4 characteristics are in red. He has high spirit (94) and is a phisical player (89). He is good in skating (76), endurance (75), puck handling (73) and passing (71). A nice player for an energy line, but i believe his contract is too much. I might consider to release him to make salary room. Speaking about salary room, let's show the team finances. 

 

Finances

 

Click on Team -> Team Info

 

Attached File  team_info.png   120KB   2 downloads

 

The finances is listed on the team info page at the top right. The finance overview is simple and consists of 4 numbers:

 

  • Salaries: total salaries of all players
  • Salary cap: a maximum of salaries.
  • Current offers: salary spent on contract offers and salary locks due to releasing players (more on this later)
  • Free space: the difference between salary cap and the combined number of salaries and current offers. 

 

As you can see i don't have much free space left, so i will be focusing on improving that first in the coming weeks. Also take note that the salary cap is dependent on the league you are playing. Here are the numbers in each league:

 

  • Gold - $50.000.000
  • Silver - $12.500.000
  • Bronze - $3.500.000
  • Iron - $1.250.000
  • Lower Iron - $625.000

 

Roster Management

 

In an European style game world you have a couple of options to manage your roster, namely:

 

  • Releasing a player from his contract, he will immediately become a free agent (FA)
  • Offer a contract to a player from the FA market. The player will make a decision in a couple of days.
  • Adjusting an existing contract of a player. Sometimes a player will want more or even less. Keep an eye on player demands regularly.

 

That's it for today. Talked a bit about the financial aspects in the game. Next i will be discussing training.



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#9

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Hi all, today i am going to explore training in gameplanhockey.
 
To setup training, go to Team -> Action -> Training...
 
Attached File  select_training.png   91.78KB   3 downloads
 
As you can see, setting up Training is straightforward. For every player you only need to select two things.
 
1. Type of training
Offensive focus more on offensive skills, Defensive focus more on defensive skills and General focuses on both. But beware, the skills that will actually be trained are also dependent of the tactics that are currently in use. Tip: use the training information of individual players to spot the skills that are most important for certain tactics as these are not publicly available.
 
2. Insensity
Players can train easy, medium or hard. It's wise to let scratched players train hard as they don't play. Players that play a lot of minutes should train easy if they want to stay fit.
 
 
Show training result
 
Players train every simulation day. You can follow the training progress of a player by going to the player page, click on the Rating tab and finally click on the 'Progress' tab. Here is an example:
 
Attached File  jolly_tr_31_3.png   102.54KB   4 downloads
 
Individual skill changes are difficult to spot (so it's probably wise to save some screenshots for future analysis), but thankfully when the overall rating of a player changes (either positive or negative) you will be notified through messages in your manager inbox. They contain the words 'Assisant impressed by [player]' or 'Assistant worried about [player]'.
 
That's all for today. Training is very easy. The difficulty lies in spotting which skills are actually trained, but i leave that as exercise  :lol:


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